Red Hills Broadcasting, LLC announced today that it has received FCC approval and purchased four major local Tallahassee area radio stations. The purchase marks the first local ownership of a significant radio group in the Tallahassee market area in several decades.
A review of state records indicates that Red Hills Broadcasting is owned by Bradford Lewis and Henry Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum is the former general manager of Opus Broadcasting in Tallahassee and is the President and COO of Red Hills Broadcasting.
“While most radio stations are owned by large media groups limiting their ability to make local decisions,” said Kestenbaum, “Red Hills Broadcasting is committed to meeting the specific programming and advertising needs of our listeners and customers in North Florida.”
The other owner, Mr. Lewis, is affiliated with the partnership group that are the original owners/developers of Super-Lube and Red Elephant Restaurants.
Kestenbaum and Lewis have purchased WANK 99.9 FM, WHTF 104.9 FM, WWOF 103.1 FM and WQTL 106.1 FM from Opus Media Partners of New York City. Opus has been a regional radio broadcasting company with station clusters in Louisiana and Florida.
All four stations have consistently been among the Tallahassee’s top rated stations. WWOF, known as 103.1 The Wolf, is currently Tallahassee Metro Area’s top rated country station.
Kestenbaum notes that, “With four distinctly different stations, Contemporary Hits on 104.9, Fresh Country on 103.1 the Wolf, Adult Hits on 99.9 Hank FM and Vintage Album Tracks on 106.1 The Path, we can deliver the programming our listeners want and target the customers that our advertisers need and/or give them diversity. Tallahassee is going to see some real innovation and exciting on-air and marketing strategies for our advertisers over the next few months. It’s going to be fun.”
Kestenbaum, a 38-year radio broadcasting veteran was an investor in Opus and General Manager of its Tallahassee area stations for the past eight years. He has managed radio stations in Tallahassee since 1998. According to Kestenbaum, “Radio stations thrive on local content designed to entertain and inform the folks who live, work and go to school within their coverage areas. The best stations are the ones that reflect the uniqueness of their communities. In short, good radio has to be local. What works in New York City or Miami or even Jacksonville doesn’t necessarily work here.”
Kestenbaum added, “Red Hills Broadcasting’s mission is to deliver unique and creative local radio content in Tallahassee that’s entertaining, informative and fun. The company’s other mission is to offer exceptional advertising value to businesses throughout the region, with knowledge that the dollars spent on advertising in Tallahassee stay in Tallahassee and circulate.”
Jim Shea is a super nice guy and was always way out of the box when it came to corporate radio. Hank is a great salesman and one of the hardest working guys that have crossed my path. Both guys jipped me a bit, but that’s the nature of this business. Jim moved on to Mapelton and I wish him well. Hank has a station named after him now. All the best to two guys that, in the end, I respect.
I think it is great for the radio stations, and for the community, Tallahassee really needs local support of the all the small locally owned businesses here and step up to supporting shopping and doing business locally, drastically, small businesses here are having a hard time, we had a shop local campaign going several years back for the 2nd Saturday of the month local businesses would setup specials for their clients/customers, but that has been all but abandon was a program the Mayor started. We could be a thriving community with a unique atmosphere for the people who live here and for the people who want to move here. So congrats on the buy Hank and Mr. Lewis.
This sounds to me like a good thing. I don’t listen to the radio much, but when I do it’s either talk radio or 106.1. Local ownership will surely be good for these stations. I just hope they don’t change it too much.